What is the Taxpayer Bill of Rights?
Did you know as a taxpayer you have a set of rights? You didn’t? Not many people do. As a taxpayer, you will have a set of rights that you should ALWAYS be aware of when you are communicating or even having to deal with the IRS.
Now, that you know that there are rights as a taxpayer, you are probably wondering what are these rights?
Today, we are not only going to get into what are these rights, but what they also entail and how they will protect you as the taxpayer.
What is the Taxpayer Bill of Rights?
If you are new to this taxpayer bills of rights, you will not know as a taxpayer you will have 10 rights. These rights are put in place to protect you when you are dealing with the IRS.
These rights are as follows:
- Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
- Be Informed
- Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Understood and Heard
- Fair & Just Tax System
- Pay No More Than the Correct Amount of Tax
- Quality Service
- Retain Representation
Now that you know your 10 rights as a taxpayer, let’s go into a little bit more detail about each of these rights.
As a taxpayer, you will have the right to be informed. You will have to right to know what exactly they expect from you to comply with certain tax laws.
You are entitled to having clear expectations of the IRS procedures and tax laws when it comes to all correspondence, instructions, notices, and publications from the IRS.
You will also have the right to know about ALL IRS decisions when it comes to your tax accounts. You will also be required to receive clean-cut explanations of all outcomes that pertain to your tax account.
All taxpayers have the right to not only receive courteous, prompt, and yet professional service when they are doing business with the IRS. The IRS is responsible for speaking to EVERY taxpayer in a clear and easy to understand way. All communications with the IRS should be where you understand what they are saying, especially if they are giving you directions on your tax account.
If you feel like you are not getting this quality service, you will want to ask to speak with a supervisor about the lack in service that you received.
Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
As a taxpayer, one of the most important rights is pay no more than the correct amount of tax. You will NEVER be charged more tax than the correct amount that is legally due. This will also include penalties and interest in certain tax cases, but you will be 100-percent aware of this prior to paying as well.
Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Understood and Heard
You as the taxpayer will have the right to challenge the IRS on their position. However, when you do this, you will be required to provide the IRS documentation with your response on why you believe their position is wrong.
The IRS will then go over your position on why you believe they are wrong in a quick and timely manner.
Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
You as the taxpayer will also have the right to a fair, yet impartial administrative appeal on majority of the IRS decisions when it comes to your tax account. These decisions will typically include the penalties that you may have received. You will get a written letter about your decision from the Office of Appeals.
Keep in mind, you as the taxpayer will have the right to take your case to court. If you choose this route, you will need to have concrete documentation proving the IRS was in the wrong in their decision on your tax account.
You as a taxpayer will be required to know the maximum amount of time that you will have to challenge any of the IRS’s position on your tax account.
You as a taxpayer will be required to know the maximum amount of time that the IRS must audit a specific tax year.
You as the taxpayer will be required to know the maximum amount of time that the IRS must collect your tax debt.
If the IRS audits you, you as the taxpayer will be required to know when the IRS has finally finished their audit on you.
You as the taxpayer will have the right to know that your privacy is one of the top concerns when it comes to the IRS.
You should always expect that the IRS whether you are just inquiring, or if the IRS is examining your account that your privacy is safe with them.
If the IRS does not keep your information private information, there will be an enforcement action that you can take against the IRS.
You as the taxpayer will have the right that any information that you give to the IRS will NOT be given to ANYONE except any other authorized person stated by law or the taxpayer.
You as the taxpayer will have the right to expect any and all appropriate actions will be taken against ANYONE including return preparers, employees, and others if they misuse or disclose ANY personal tax information.
You as the taxpayer will have the chance to get an authorized representative of your choice to represent you and your tax account when dealing with the IRS.
If you are from a low-income family, you as the taxpayer will have the right to get assistance from ANY of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics, if you are in no position to be able to pay for representation.
Fair and Just Tax System
You as the taxpayer will have the right to expect that the tax system is fair and just. You can expect that the tax system will consider all circumstances and facts that may affect your liabilities, ability to provide information in a timely manner and the ability to pay.
You as the taxpayer will have the right to get assistance with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, if you are going through a financial hardship or if the IRS itself has yet to resolve their own tax issues in a timely manner.